Girl visited Yarmouth prior to her death

THE nine-year-old girl who is believed to have been strangled by her mother's boyfriend before he hanged himself had visited Great Yarmouth in the hours before her death, police have revealed.

THE nine-year-old girl who is believed to have been strangled by her mother's boyfriend before he hanged himself had visited Great Yarmouth in the hours before her death, police have revealed.

Stacey Lawrence was found dead in the cab of a white Spar lorry at the side of the A605 in Warmington, near Peterborough on Saturday afternoon.

The body of her mother's boyfriend, 40-year-old Darren Walker, was found hanging from a tree in nearby woodland and Northamptonshire Police believe Stacey was murdered by Walker before he killed himself.

Detectives investigating the case said the lorry had spent a “great deal of time in Norfolk” during the day making delivers to various stores, including in Yarmouth, and would like to hear from anyone who saw it or spoke to Walker.


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Det Chief Insp Tricia Kirk said Stacey, who is from the West Midlands area, had been with Walker as a “treat” and her mother had no concerns about letting her go with her long-term boyfriend.

She said: “It (the lorry) will have spent a great deal of time in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire during daylight hours, particularly on the A47, so I'm hopeful we will get some good information about its movements during the day.

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“We have got no evidence at this time to indicate that Stacey was sexually assaulted.

“While our investigation is still at an early stage, it is clearly something we would like to rule out as quickly as possible.”

Police said Walker, who is also from the West Midlands, had left the depot in Willenhall at 4am on Friday, heading for Yarmouth.

After making deliveries to Spar stores in Norfolk, it was returning to the West Midlands, when it stopped just outside Peterborough at about 3pm on Friday.

It arrived in the lay-by in nearby Warmington shortly after 3.35pm and police were called to the rural lorry park at about 2pm on Saturday after the HGV company which owns the vehicle said it had not returned to base.

Ms Kirk added: “Our investigation is to try and find out what led to this tragic event taking place.

“At the moment, we are treating it as a murder-suicide. We believe the little girl was murdered and the man then committed suicide.

“We are not aware of any medical conditions and we are not aware of any family arguments.”

Anyone with information is asked to ring Northamptonshire police on 03000 111222.

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